Doesn't Hurt to Ask Book Summary - Doesn't Hurt to Ask Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

Doesn't Hurt to Ask summary

Using the Power of Questions to Communicate, Connect, and Persuade

4.3 (730 ratings)
22 mins

Brief summary

Doesn't Hurt to Ask by Trey Gowdy is a guide for effective communication, featuring strategies and advice for asking better questions, mitigating conflicts, and achieving productive outcomes.

Table of Contents

    Doesn't Hurt to Ask
    Summary of 8 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 8

    Persuasion is a subtle art, and questions are its greatest tools.

    Are you ready to start winning every argument you ever have? Are you ready to grind your opponents into the ground with your debating skills?

    Then these blinks are not for you.

    Persuasion isn’t about annihilating your opponents. It’s about listening to them, communicating with them, and advocating for your own beliefs in a compelling way. Think about it: how many times have you changed your mind because someone kept bombarding you with their opinions?

    Questions work so well because they put the focus on your conversation partner, and nudge them in the right direction without making them react defensively. The author knows about this firsthand. He only got into law after a friend’s mom asked him a bunch of really great questions.

    The key message here is: Persuasion is a subtle art, and questions are its greatest tools.

    The author had always planned to work construction jobs with a friend when he’d finished high school. One day though, his friend’s mom picked up on the topic. She asked him, “What are you going to do next, honey?” After he answered, she asked a follow-up question. And then another one. And another one. By the end of the interview, he had decided that he wanted to become a lawyer.

    His friend’s mother didn’t make a single evaluative statement to persuade him – she simply let him persuade himself. That’s the power of asking questions.

    Now, let’s make one thing clear before you get started: there is such a thing as a stupid question. One time during a robbery trial, the author’s witness reported that the suspect “had a blue bag in his hand.” The author immediately fired off a follow-up question: “Okay, what color was the blue bag?” The laughter that ensued in the courtroom should be proof enough that stupid questions do exist.

    Still, any stupid question is better than a stupid assertion. Imagine someone asking you, “Who wrote Hamlet?” That question reveals a pretty big knowledge gap. But now imagine someone telling you, “George Washington wrote Hamlet.” That’s not just a knowledge gap; that’s a knowledge gap the person isn’t even aware of. Who would you trust more in an honest debate – a person who is uninformed, or a person who is misinformed?

    Want to see all full key ideas from Doesn't Hurt to Ask?

    Key ideas in Doesn't Hurt to Ask

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Doesn't Hurt to Ask about?

    Doesn’t Hurt to Ask (2020) teaches the subtle art of persuasion through one unconventional tool: asking questions. Former congressman Trey Gowdy explains how thoughtful questions can help you reach your audience, communicate your message, and win people over – whether that’s in a courtroom, a business meeting, or at the dinner table.

    Doesn't Hurt to Ask Review

    Doesn't Hurt to Ask (2020) by Trey Gowdy is a thought-provoking book that explores the power of effective questioning and communication. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It offers a practical approach to asking the right questions, providing readers with valuable tools to improve their communication skills.
    • With compelling stories and insightful anecdotes from Gowdy's experiences, the book gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at the importance of questioning in various contexts.
    • It sheds light on how the art of questioning can lead to positive outcomes in personal relationships, professional endeavors, and even political debates.

    Best quote from Doesn't Hurt to Ask

    The art of persuasion is not about winning people over but bringing people closer together.

    —Trey Gowdy
    example alt text

    Who should read Doesn't Hurt to Ask?

    • Exhausted parents looking to win their kids over in arguments
    • Politically engaged people who want to advocate for their beliefs more effectively
    • Anyone looking to improve their negotiation skills in their private or professional lives

    About the Author

    Trey Gowdy is a former federal prosecutor and district attorney from South Carolina. In 2010, he was elected to Congress, where he chaired the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Select Committee on Benghazi. With his friend Tim Scott, he co-authored the New York Times best seller Unified – How Our Unlikely Friendship Gives Us Hope for a Divided Country.

    Categories with Doesn't Hurt to Ask

    Book summaries like Doesn't Hurt to Ask

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    32 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,500+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    Doesn't Hurt to Ask FAQs 

    What is the main message of Doesn't Hurt to Ask?

    The main message of Doesn't Hurt to Ask is the power of asking the right questions to get the answers you need.

    How long does it take to read Doesn't Hurt to Ask?

    The reading time for Doesn't Hurt to Ask varies, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Doesn't Hurt to Ask a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Doesn't Hurt to Ask is a valuable read that teaches you how to use questions effectively. It's definitely worth your time.

    Who is the author of Doesn't Hurt to Ask?

    The author of Doesn't Hurt to Ask is Trey Gowdy.

    What to read after Doesn't Hurt to Ask?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Doesn't Hurt to Ask, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Words That Work by Frank Luntz
    • The Art of Stopping Time by Pedram Shojai
    • Humble Inquiry by Edgar H. Schein
    • Good Leaders Ask Great Questions by John C. Maxwell
    • How to Talk to Anyone by Leil Lowndes
    • Moving Past Small Talk by The Blinkist Team
    • The Fine Art Of Small Talk by Debra Fine
    • Fully Present by Susan L. Smalley and Diana Winston
    • Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
    • The Wealth Money Can't Buy by Robin Sharma